Travel + Leisure

I’ve Been Traveling Solo for 20 Years, and These Are the 15 Safety Devices That You Should Always Pack 

Prices start at $9 for game-changing door alarms, RFID-blocking accessories, and more.

By Kristy Alpert

Unlike most graduates, who receive new travel tech or fancy luggage before embarking on their first solo trip as an adult, I was gifted with a copy of Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” and a door alarm by my dad when I started traveling alone nearly 20 years ago. His military background and time spent traveling the world as an airline pilot gave him a unique perspective on staying safe while on the road, which is why our family always took travel security very seriously.  

Like the book (and my father) taught me, being aware of your surroundings and trusting your instincts goes a long way in staying safe while traveling, but there are some great tools out there to help protect against some of the biggest threats while venturing far from home. For example, I’ve rigged hotel doors with hangers and ironing boards, but this pocket-sized tool is the far superior solution. 

Anti-theft devices don’t just extend to door stoppers and window locks. Nowadays, you can use data blocking cables to save you from being the victim of identity theft or hacking while you’re simply trying to charge your devices. I shopped through Amazon’s travel gear offerings to find the most essential personal security devices and anti-theft products around, each of which help minimize the risks of travel and help keep you safe wherever you’re headed. And, the best news is that they’re all relatively budget-friendly, with the lowest price tag starting at $9. 

Btfdreem Hidden Camera and Bug Detector 

Buy on Amazon$44$40

This walkie talkie-sized device can detect bugs, cameras, and tracking locators within minutes. It’s ideal for making sure hotel rooms, Vrbo rentals, and Airbnbs are free of any hidden cameras or eavesdropping devices. One reviewer said, “I work in the private security field, and this is my favorite bug detector; small, concealable, and accurate.” Clip the on-site coupon to save an extra $5 on the shopper-dubbed “super convenient” travel gadget. 

Zero Grid Travel Security Belt 

Buy on Amazon$18

Storing your cash in this unassuming belt is a convenient choice for deterring pickpockets. It looks like an everyday belt, only it’s equipped with a handy, secret pocket for your valuables. Even better, it’s TSA-approved and one Amazon customer said that it gave them peace of mind when traveling abroad. “I put two 50 dollar bills and two 100 Euro bills in when I flew to Berlin; [there was] plenty, plenty of room for more,” they explained in their five-star review. “I went through TSA security without having to take my belt off; my plastic watch set the alarm off, the belt did not. The belt was comfortable, but it took some practice to unbuckle. It is secure.”

Winonly Travel Door Lock 

Buy on Amazon$25$12

This Amazon-famous portable lock is far superior to the old “wedge a chair against the hotel door” trick. Its effective design guarantees that no one can break — even with a key since this little tool locks the door in place via the door jam. Many reviewers praise this lock’s ability to “add an extra layer of safety” to hotels, door rooms, and vacation rentals. Note: It doesn’t work on every type of door, but it’s small enough to toss in a carry-on just in case it does happen to fit the door that you’re behind that night. Don’t miss this chance to get one for as little as $12. 

PortaPow 3rd Gen USB Data Blocker 

Buy on Amazon$11$10

Many people don’t realize that most USB cables that are used for charging can also transmit data, making it super easy for someone to hack into a phone and steal valuable information like stored credit cards and passwords. It’s called “juice jacking,” and it’s easy to avoid with these simple data-blocking attachments. This little device blocks a hacker’s ability to access your phone, but still lets you charge in public spaces. According to one traveler, “This is simple to use and gives me peace of mind when plugging into strange outlets. The red color makes it easy to spot and it’s not too big.”  

Eagle Creek Silk Undercover Bra Stash Travel Wallet 

Buy on Amazon$20

This secret bra wallet is discreet enough to not show under most clothing, making it the perfect place to store important credit cards, room keys, cash, and IDs. One Amazon reviewer said, “I bought this for our vacation in Thailand. I was terrified of being pickpocketed and I didn’t want to deal with a money belt in the muggy heat. I was able to fit a couple hundred Baht and a copy of my passport. It held up great for our two-week trip and I plan to use it for our next one.”

Cluci Anti-Theft Backpack Purse 

Buy on Amazon$44$36

The only way to access the contents of this anti-theft backpack, which is on sale for $36, is from a hidden back zipper, making your belongings virtually inaccessible to pickpockets. What’s more, this bag has nearly 12,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and many reviewers love it for being a lightweight travel bag with enough room for the essentials. A shopper shared, “I was very impressed by the quality of this backpack and it has passed the test of traveling from place to place. I carried this backpack on an international trip. It can hold my iPad, a jacket, my wallet, a book and several small items I brought on the flight.” 

Emdmak Door Stop Alarm  

Buy on Amazon$18$12

Although this little wedge won’t fully stop someone from trying to break into your hotel or vacation rental, the shrill siren that blares once the sensor is tripped will likely deter them from sticking around. Professional travelers even swear by its effectiveness, with one reviewer writing, “I’m a flight attendant and I use these on my overnights for added security. I definitely recommend [them]. You can use them for your house, too.” Another flight attendant chimed in to add, “[I’m] in hotels all the time. I use this and feel safer at night.” 

Pacsafe RFID-Blocking V100 Anti-Theft Bi-Fold Wallet 

Buy on Amazon$40

Designed for travel, this bi-fold wallet has become the go-to personal security tool for countless jet-setters with its compact design, RFID-blocking capabilities, and multiple card slots and pockets. One Amazon reviewer said, “I purchased this travel wallet for a trip abroad, but it has now replaced my everyday wallet. Its security and anti-theft features are excellent, and I love the way I can tether it within my purse, thus avoiding digging about for a wallet in the depths of a bag at the check stand.” 

Naturally, a wallet this good is bound to sell out. If it’s out of stock during your next Amazon shopping spree, check out the Travando Slim Wallet, which also offers RFID-blocking protection and is on sale for $30.  

She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm 

Buy on Amazon$30

It’s not always practical or possible to travel with pepper spray, which is where this best-selling personal safety alarm keychain comes in handy. Its small key-chain design packs easily into any bag and passes through TSA security with ease. Its piercing alarm is activated with the simple press of a button, which also turns on flashing strobe lights. 

In their review, an Amazon shopper explained that they bought the alarm for their daughter, who is an avid traveler: “[She] let me know this ‘churpper,’ as she calls it, really works. She was on her way out of the courthouse and an unhappy man was following her, yelling at her… She used this product and he was so taken by surprise he just turned and walked away.” I’m also a fan of it and I personally carry it with me in my pocket in parking garages and whenever I’m out walking alone. 

Zrfcxe Window Lock 

Buy on Amazon$13

Windows are one of the most high-risk entry points for burglars, and these easy-to-install locks change that fact. Not only do they install in seconds to prevent window break-ins, but they also help prevent window break-outs for anyone traveling with children. “I like to stay at vintage properties and unusual places when I travel,” one traveler shared, noting that most of these accommodations don’t have adequate locks on their windows. “These locks are great as you can install them on the track on the exterior of a sliding glass door and secure them with the allen wrench.” Just make sure that you don’t misplace the key. 

Smuggling Duds Men’s Anti-Theft Boxer Brief Shorts 

Buy on Amazon$18

Not even the most intrusive thief would think to search where this garment hides your valuables. The hidden pocket in these anti-theft boxers can hold money, keys, or even a passport. The pocket isn’t the only noteworthy feature: Amazon shoppers were happy to report that the boxers were breathable and comfortable to wear. One reviewer commented, “They’re pretty useful. Stuff stays in place and is very discreet.” 

Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Money Belt Travel Pouch 

Buy on Amazon$12

Securing this secret money pouch to your belt is easy with the attached brown or black belt loops. Many reviewers call it a “travel must-have,” as it comes with three separate compartments that can hold cash, coins, credit cards, IDs, and a passport. According to one traveler, who was pickpocketed in Paris, “This wallet saved our vacation.”  

Pocket Socks Fashion Dress Socks With Hidden Zipper 

Buy on Amazon$40

Pocket Socks founder Evan Papel was a victim himself of pickpocketing, which led him to invent this concealed security system for travel. Each pair comes with a TSA-friendly zippered pocket that can hold any number of travel necessities, from cash and car key fobs to IDs and Apple AirPods. In their review, a traveler wrote, “I like to keep things as secure as possible. These Pocket Socks provide one more step into safety when traveling.” 

Boxiki RFID-Blocking Travel Hidden Money Belt 

Buy on Amazon$30$24

Many purchasers consider this the “perfect travel wallet,” and that’s because this durable waist pouch can conceal and hold all of your valuable essentials in a way that goes virtually undetected by thieves. RFID-blocking technology protects the contents of this belt from hacking, while its slender design keeps it from being visible from pickpockets when worn under clothing. It earned praise from one shopper, who said, “I bought this and used it for my two-month travels in Asia and it was perfect. The buckle never came undone and the zippers were perfect as well.” 

Manyi RFID-Blocking Cards 

Buy on Amazon$11$9

Pop one of these RFID-blocking cards in your wallet or purse and you’ll be creating an impenetrable barrier for your personal information. Remote RFID devices can scan credit cards or passports to access your financial information, name, etc., but this simple card muddles the signal and prevents the info from ever getting transmitted. But its greatest skill is the peace of mind it brings travelers, particularly for this reviewer: “The added protection in my purse is reassuring, especially when I travel.” Don’t miss this chance to score this five-pack for $9. 

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.